MVP (minimum viable product) is the best way to launch your app as fast as possible and save some money by cutting down the development time. Why should you read this article? MVP brings you the scope of advantages you cannot ignore. Why complicate if MVP development gives you the opportunity to:
- Short time to market – bringing an application to users as fast as possible
- Get quick feedback from application users
- Lower development costs
- Make fast market change adoption
- Provide frequent application updates
So this is just a story in a nutshell. Dive into details, and you’ll realize that MVP can reduce development resources and raise the quality. It’s important to understand that an MVP software development is not synonymous with unfinished or a primitive product that was created in a hurry.
What is an MVP?
As the MVP development company, we can explain to you what is MVP in details.
Before creating and launching a complete and fully functional product, it is best for startups to focus on developing what is called a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The developed product should capture the core functionality that solves some user’s problem. This allows the targeted users to try a product and evaluate it to make the complete version better. We explained the question of why you have to validate your business idea.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the smallest, most concise version of your product you can initially release for feedback. It enables a full turn of the feedback loop with the least amount of development time and effort. How does the fast software delivery look like from the client’s perspective? It is a frequently updated environment with the new features that could be seen and tested by clients. New registration page, an admin management panel, as well as email notifications, are just a few to name…
You can wonder, how an MVP is different from a prototype? They are similar, but instead of having only minimal functionality (for a prototype) MVP also has some reliability and usability. In other words, MVPs are like the go-getter version of prototypes. There are 3 basic ways of How MVP is different from a prototype.
Working prototype advantages
Minimal Viable Product development technique would allow early adopters to understand the vision or promise of the final product and would provide valuable insights and feedback to guide the developers moving forward. You can compare it to losing the game but having an opportunity to recover from the place where you saved your session and continue the game. This is a trial that costs cheap and allows you to test your project in the real environment.
We will use bullet points to explain how MVP software development works and its main advantages:
- MVP has enough value that people can already use or buy
- It demonstrates enough features that would hook and retain early adopters
- MVP provides a feedback loop to guide future development of your product
- It shows sufficient future potential to attract and retain early customers
- With implementation tentative results, MVP guides future development so developers would know how to continue with their ideas and have a clear vision to build what is actually needed.
But if you think that MVP development is necessary only for startups, you’re wrong. When you already have a well-established company and customers, you need to have some way to experiment with making them an offer. In a lot of cases, the minimum viable product really is just that offer.
Our MVP development agency can estimate your project and evaluate vital features you should implement in your MVP, free of charge.
Why you should have an MVP
Building your MVP and committing to getting it into the hands of your alpha and beta testers quickly forces you to ask and answer important questions like:
- What is the essence of my app? What, most of all, makes people want to use it?
- What are the must-have features vs. the nice-to-haves?
- What is the user journey?
- Which features must I include in v1.0? Which can I leave for a later date?
These questions are not related only to MVP app development, they can be used for website MVP development and any other kind of project you work on too. When you answered these questions and created your MVP, you will probably find that you’ve been wrong about the answers. But as far as MVP gives you an opportunity to fix whatever you can and add changes even at the core level, you are really empowered to make everything right for the main version. Learning on the working product is as useful as it can be. Many people would like to have the proper MVP consulting to understand the necessity of the minimum viable product. Whatever field of your project is (it can be MVP business development or even MVP game development) you can find good practices of MVP in our material Why do you need an MVP.
Examples of MVP
Most of these successful projects you use every day had started from MVP. You’ll be surprised by their number!
“The biggest risk is making something that no one wants. Not launching is painful, but not learning is fatal. Put something in users hands, it doesn’t have to be code, and get the real feedback as soon as possible.” — Drew Houston, Dropbox CEO
Twitter, Dropbox, Foursquare, Uber and more… Read about them in our material 9 famous services started from MVP.
MVP created in Syndicode
Here in Syndicode, we create a wide range of software development services for different business needs. We can provide high-level UX design, frontend, and backend development for your MVP. Moreover, we will help you with defining the most important features for your minimum viable product and decide on the optimal technology stack. All of these are the parts of MVP professional development provided in Syndicode. Go to our portfolio page to see our level and approach and find out why Syndicode can be considered as an MVP development agency.
As a part of MVP consulting we suggest you read about 6 successful MVP projects developed in Syndicode:
Shipwise is a two-sided B2B marketplace that aims to take the pain out of booking freight shipments. We completed an MVP development project for Shipwise with Ruby on Rails in 45 days with two full-stack developers. Shipwise MVP marketplace included electronic document exchange functionality for shipment clearance procedures.
Senden24 is a delivery MVP marketplace development, a great example of Ruby on Rails MVP development. It was created to provide a 1-hour delivery service free of charge for shoppers. The delivery is crowd-sourced by different delivery service providers (couriers, taxi, express delivery companies, etc.).
We helped to create a minimal viable product to start operations in Berlin, Germany. MVP included promo website, Android mobile app for courier, delivery service order web form for shops, and platform administration backend. Together with the client, Syndicode completed Senden24 MVP development in 2 months time.
HelloCare is a project which is a perfect case study of MVP product development. It brings together senior citizens, families and single people (customers) with qualified everyday helpers (suppliers) and thereby supports them in their daily lives. This is a two-sided peer-to-peer marketplace with Android mobile app for service providers. The core functionality of HelloCare was defined during the MVP development process.
Next interesting example of the project we developed from MVP is an online marketplace called Wecam. It is a place to buy and sell video production online in Germany. Here clients can find the best professionals for their custom needs and crowdfund for projects they like. As for the previous examples, we understood what features should be implemented in the complete version of Wecam while developing its MVP.
Woobra is a classic B2B marketplace for product sourcing we also developed from MVP. The complete version of the platform has the listing of suppliers, their products and special deals with categories, country, and basic description. Woobra facilitates search and communication between buyers and sellers. This online marketplace males money on subscription payments from suppliers.
Another very interesting example of MVP is Movinga. While developing MVP we wanted to find the better way of how fast and easy a person could relocate within Europe. The final product of Movinga is a B2C marketplace that combines a simple booking process with a customer-friendly interface, making it easy to plan flawless removals. It offers the best relocation experience you could wish for.
Stages to build MVP
How to build an MVP? The stages of MVP development process mostly consist of implementing different features. How to define them? Don’t invest your time in things people don’t want. Because there is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.
For every feature, no matter how cool it sounds, we have to ask ourselves these 4 questions for MVP features. This will remove all the unnecessary functions you can build your MVP without.
After defining the basic needed functionality we can start our MVP development. What are the stages to build an MVP?
There are three stages you pass through for building MVP: build, measure, learn and loop again all of them.
The “build” stage might take up to two months. It consists of the 10 steps we covered in our article 10 steps to build an MVP.
Before going to the build stage you have to define a technology stack. Here are some points we need to focus on while choosing the right tech stack for the MVP development process:
- Databases to determine the storage, connection, and representation of information. The majority of software projects, use two main types of Databases, these are called SQL and NoSQL. The first one is chosen over NoSQL in most MVP.
- Server Infrastructure and ‘the cloud’ that combine physical machines and digital services. ‘The cloud’ stands for running your services on external infrastructure for a fee. Therefore this means, without ever dealing with any physical infrastructure.
- The back-end programming. This is basically how various programs work together to connect and interact with the server.
- The front-end services that is basically the user interface and design of your MVP.
- Application Programming Interface used for interconnection between programming languages.
“Measure” and “learn” stages also demand some plan for effective implementation. How to measure received data in the right way? What can you learn from it?
To assure understanding MVP development, you need to have something like release map with points to track. These points could be presented as questions to answer:
- What to learn?
- What to build?
- Validation threshold: What would prove our hypothesis “true” in this case?
- Actionable data points: What data would cause us to change our minds about something?
You have to consider the answers for every MVP release. This feedback loop is aimed to improve your minimum viable product.
Ruby on Rails MVP development
Choosing the right technology for a startup’s minimum viable product (MVP) may be challenging. All programming languages have their own advantages and perform in various ways. Also, depending on the domain, various languages can be used. To be honest, customers don’t care what technology your platform is built on as long as it looks and feels amazing. But for developers and business owners that means a lot. Technology will define how much effort and time they will spend to complete the project.
As a startup, cost minimization is essential. The MVP with Rails framework to be used for the web or mobile app can be developed faster. This makes it a great option for the development of software products that may have to go back through the development process over and over for fine-tuning. When it comes to fast iterative development processes, Ruby on Rails is the way to go.
Regardless of the development method your MVP will be delivered as soon as possible with RoR. The Ruby on Rails MVP development process helps startups develop web apps and mobile applications that capture the essence of the solution they wish to provide to their target market swiftly and inexpensively. Ruby on rails MVP development is preferred by most startups due to its associated benefits. (You can read about them further in our material).
Creating a basic RoR application is a matter of minutes, so presenting the first working version of a product after a few days of development isn’t uncommon. A few months might be enough to build the MVP.
However, as an MVP development company, Syndicode knows How to speed up MVP development and make it even faster.
Examples of MVP created with Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails developer-friendly framework became very popular with startups that were eager to simplify and accelerate the processes of the product development. So there are a lot of MVPs with Rails framework.
Founders of Airbnb started their business with no money. They created an MVP as the simple website with photos of their flat. Very soon they found out that demand for the service was extremely growing. The rest of the story is already known.
Using Ruby on Rails application framework Airbnb founders made their MVP quickly and affordably, but also secure, fast, and scalable. Validating the business idea with the help of MVP is one of the effective strategies of building successful startup stories. In conditions of constrained budget and limited time frames (both not rare for startups), Ruby on Rails comes up with its wide specter of flexible coding instruments.
The other well-known examples of successful projects that started with the RoR MVP are:
- Dribbble – a community of designers, where creative specialists help each other, share and discuss their work and everything related to it. The platform also helps designers and their clients meet each other.
- GitHub – the largest web service for hosting of IT projects and their shared development. The platform unites the team members for collective problem solving, sharing code and many other things.
- Shopify – a well-known e-commerce platform that develops software for online shops.
- Indiegogo – a crowdfunding website that has gained prominence during the latest years. It has been created to unite people around important ideas and bring them to life collectively.
Advantages of Ruby on Rails MVP
It’s no coincidence that almost every new tech startup is built using Rails these days. Rails development is fast. To be clear, the time required to develop a functioning and slick product in Rails is far less than the time it would take if you use another framework. So MVP product development is very often done with Rails.
You can find the core factors that accelerate fast development with this framework in our article Ruby on Rails development speed. The faster you show your MVP to your users, the faster you will receive the data to measure and improve the final product.
But we think that the most important feature of Rails is a RESTful architecture. Most web services these days are not just stand-alone websites, they also interact with the external world too. An example could be your business’s own mobile app that pulls its data from your website, or maybe it’s another website pushing content to your website the same way Twitter and Facebook do. And if one day your service will grow and have to interact with the outside world, doing so with Rails will make that process far cheaper and faster.
The next paragraph will show you how MVP development benefits from using RoR.
Why RoR is preferred with startups for MVP
When a young company – a startup in most cases – is going to release an MVP, it is interested to complete this task with less effort and enhanced cost-efficiency. Ruby on Rails meets both of these requirements, which makes it a perfect option for the companies that just get ready to make their project ideas real. Such companies don’t want to spend their limited budgets and human/time resources on various needs which will inevitably emerge in the long-term development. The world of startups gets this idea, and makes use of Ruby on Rails development.
There are a lot of advantages that make RoR perfect for startup MVP development. Read 9 reasons Why RoR is great for MVP development.
RoR is faster than other frameworks. When you’re an early-stage startup and your developer can build an MVP in Ruby on Rails, you will save a lot of time and money. With RoR you have:
- availability of built-in development tools;
- ready-made modules availability;
- flexible syntax.
MVPs built on RoR come with a host of pre-set configurations and default settings that significantly cut the number of decisions developers have to make while working on the code. Actually, it’s a two-in-one option: the time of a developer is saved, and better decisions are made. Rails developers thus work in a more productive way.
Startup MVP development can be done with the help of various tools and frameworks. Though if you want to make it quicker, stable, easily scalable for future changes and in a cost-effective manner, Ruby on Rails is a perfect choice.
From all we have said above, you have to understand that MVP product development is not just about delivering your product fast in “to-try-mode”. An MVP is about validated learning.
Your customer may be new to the MVP model or probably doesn’t care about what model you use, hence it is wise to set expectations on every interim deliverable obtained. You have to understand that your final product could be dramatically changed due to the user’s feedback and suggestions provided for the MVP. Make sure that you and your team is ready to embrace changes even in a module where more efforts have been put in.
The most difficult about MVP development is that you have to learn about the product and its behavior on each feedback sessions and learn from them. It is best to prioritize your product features beforehand. Always get inside the core components first, show them, re-iterate and if needed freeze them, and move on to the next prioritized core feature.
- Note, that refactoring is playing the key role in your MVP development. When you see that some part of your product is not scalable or flexible enough, you have to stop, go back and fix that.
- Also, be aware of your code style. Because when the speed of development is among the first priorities, your code matters. A new developer in your team should speed up the development. That’s why you need to provide clean code and documentation.
- The design also matters. Faster you will get the design of your MVP, the faster your developers implement it.
But all these difficulties are unlikely to happen if you will outsourcing. Delegating your MVP development to professionals will make you more effective and your product more qualitative. Read about 5 reasons why you should outsource you can’t argue with.
While we mentioned the difficulties an enterprise could face in MVP development, surprisingly, a team can be its own worst enemy when it comes to the MVP. Their imagination, pride, professionalism, brainstorming process, etc. heaps one idea on top of another without thinking through the consequences of investment and risk in pursuing them. In our article Signs of MVP abuse, you can read why MVP professional development is so important.
You should focus on perfecting your business model, networking, hustling, etc. If you can leave the development of the product to a dedicated development team that’s ready to go and experienced, go for it and hire MVP development agency.
Yes, it is not so easy to find suitable devs and the cost of their services are reasonably high. Having such developer full-time in-house may be costly for a start-up, while with outsourced devs, you can take breaks in development and then come back to the same devs for the next phase of development.
Another important thing is that outsource developers take care to write clean well-documented code. It’s not only a case of good reputation – they want their customers to come back to them again and if they write a messy code they will have problems with it later. This fact also makes it easy for other devs to pick-up the development at later stages. At the same time, an in-house developer may leave a start-up at some point and there is no guarantee that his code will be readable for another developer who will replace him.
All the good qualities you’re looking for can be found in Syndicode, an MVP development company. If you have any questions about MVP development, don’t hesitate to ask us. We’ll be glad to help you.
UPD, for 2019, hiring Ukrainian software developers became the smartest solution for startups so as for large enterprises. Read why to hire software developers in Ukraine.